|Consulate Review: Vancouver, Canada
Review Topic: K1 Visa
|Review Date :
||September 20, 2011
|Embassy Review :
||My visa interview was on Sep. 16/11 at 10 AM. I was staying in Surrey (with relatives), which is very far from downtown Vancouver, but the Skytrain is cheap ($5 from Surrey) and fast (35 minutes). I got off at the Burrard Skytrain station, which is only 1.5 blocks from the US Consulate.
Upon returning to the consulate, I was quickly brought to security (bypassing the line as I had already waited in line earlier). On my initial check-in, I had shown her my sealed envelope with medical exam results and passport. So she had checked off my name and was waiting for me. Security was pretty much like airport security: empty your pockets, remove your belt and your jacket. The scanner was on the fritz, so I had to wait until it was reset and tested. I've waited 8 months, so I could wait another 5 minutes.
I was then told by security that when I get to the consulate office, I was to go to booth B and press the "light-switch." (I kind of forgot this instruction by the time I got there.) I was guided to a waiting area, waited a bit, then guided to an elevator, then guided to another waiting area, then directed into the interview waiting room. Everyone else had a wait-list number, except me. I then asked a woman across from me and she reminded me that I had received an instruction at security. Ah, that's right: Booth B.
I went to Booth B and the female administrator started the paperwork quickly, making copies, and asking me to organize the forms and documents I had brought. Then I signed the DS-156K form, vowing verbally that I'll marry my fiancee within 90 days of arriving within the US. I was then given the wait-list number, but didn't have to sit long.
Within minutes, my number appeared on the monitor and I went to the appropriate booth. Standing across from the immigration person, who was behind a glass, he reviewed the folder given to him from the previous administrator that had processed me. Before starting the questioning, I had to pledge to be honest and all that. He asked me some very basic questions like, "When and how did you meet?", "How often do you visit?", "When are you going to get married?", "What kind of work does your fiancee do?", "What do you do?", "When are you going to finish that damn dissertation??!!!" Just kidding, that's a question I always ask myself, but he did ask me about my progress with school (e.g., "Where do you need to go to finish your degree?"). And really, that's about it. I've been asked more questions crossing the border. I think everything is in the paperwork because there sure is a lot of it! Surprisingly, neither the initial administrator or this one asked for further evidence of engagement/on-going relationship. So the material we submitted with the petition was sufficient.
As to rating the experience, well the extra-high security about getting in was very unexpected. And paying the convenience store guy $5 for storing my laptop bag was annoying. That part I didn't like at all. But once I got to the interview area, it was smooth sailing after that as I was processed quickly and the interview was simple and quick. So I would rate my experience as mostly good, but some bad ("4").